What Do Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism Have in Common?

China's three most ancient religions - Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism- all share an emphasis on ethical codes of conduct as a means of harmonizing their followers with the universe. Confucianism and Taoism are more closely related to each other in that their founders are viewed as ordinary albeit very wise mortal men and not prophets or spiritual leaders.

In Buddhism, the aim is to escape the cycle of reincarnation by removing attachments to material pleasures and possessions. Taoism and Confucianism, meanwhile, do not seek to escape from the material world so much as to live in harmony with it. The latter two religions have been subject to repression by China's more recent governments.